An impromptu visit at Nemostars Volleyball club’s training base at East Kololo paints a real picture of men on the mission.
The commitment, focus and perseverance exuded by players under the watchful eyes of Head Coach Andrew Okapis is one that can strike fear in the hearts of many a opponent.
Spearhead by team captain and veteran player George Aporu, the players execute every drill to perfection as club founder Neko Muduse-Ojala aka Old Coach, watching from the periphery, savours every moment and reacts by nodding in approval.
On reflection, the side is scheming something sinister to whoever they will cross path with at the 39th edition of the Men’s African club volleyball Championships scheduled for 16th-28th April 2021 in the Tunisian City of Sousse.
The Six time National League champions are among the twenty six teams that registered for this year’s biennial tournament.
The last time the Kololo based appeared at the continent, in 2019, they left an indelible mark after finishing a respectable 6th overall when they lost a qualification encounter to Libyan side El Etihad 3-1.
It’s a milestone they want to build on this year, however.
“We believe that we can go better than how we performed last year. Coach and former player Andrew Okapis said.
“We are working hard and finding solutions of how we will overcome the problem of height. It has affected us so much but I think this time around we shall get solutions for it.” The bubbly Okapis added.
The side have blostered their ranks with addition of left attacker Jonathan Tumukunde from Uganda Christian University and KAVC ‘s Saviour Atama. The latter adds the much need experience, poise and guile in the squad.
The prospect of Saviour Atama playing alongside attacker George Aporu and setter Smith Okumu is mouth-watering.
Financial hurdle headache
However, Nemostars’ continental aspirations have to overcome one of local sport’s biggest undoing – Finances.
It is reported that Nemostars’ budget often rotates around US $ 20,000( about Shs 50M) and US $ 35,000( about Shs 87.5m) but with Sports worldwide stained by Covid-19, the budget is expected to swell.
“We are aggressively looking for money to make the trip. It’s something were thinking of so much.” One of the club’s administrator who preferred anonymity revealed.
Nemostars debutated at the continent in 2013 and finished 11th out of 17 teams in Tripoli, Libya.